If you were to survey a handful of women about the areas they’d most like to tone, the butt and thighs would probably rate highly. And while looking fantastic from behind is always appealing, a strong butt and thighs are really important for overall fitness and stability.
Strengthening the butt and thighs can reduce back pain, improve posture, strengthen your pelvis and reduce knee and ankle strain. Incorporating exercises that target the lower body also increases overall body strength and function to support daily movements such as bending, lifting, twisting and moving.
The exercises we’ve selected are fantastic for tightening and tonight your bottom and thighs and can be done from the comfort of your own home. No gym required! You can use your own body weight though as you gain strength, you may want to incorporate some light weights (you can buy these very cheaply from Kmart or even use cans of tinned tomatoes or filled up water bottles).
Try doing each move for 1 min and repeating 1-3 times.
1. Plie squats
- Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart and your toes pointing outwards.
- Bring your arms out straight in front of you and lower into a squat focusing on engaging your thighs.
- Come back up and repeat. Go as low into the squat as you can without letting your knees move past your toes.
- Be sure to tuck your tailbone under and contract your glutes. Keep your torso tall, and don’t let your knees creep past your toes.
2. Donkey kicks
- Get on all fours so that your hands are shoulder width apart and your knees are straight below your hips.
- Bracing your abdominals and keeping your knee bent lift one leg up behind you until it is in line with your body and your foot is parallel to the ceiling.
- Lower back down to the starting position and repeat with the other leg.
3. Squat with a side kick
- Stand in a squat position with your feet wider than hip-width apart and toes slightly turned out. Squat down to a 90-degree angle at your knees while keeping your chest up.
- Rise up out of the squat and contract your core to lift one leg up and out to the side as you balance on your other leg. Return to the starting position.
- Repeat on both sides.
4. Glute bridge
- Lie flat on the floor on your back with the hands by your side and your knees bent. Your feet should be placed around shoulder width apart. This will be your starting position.
- Pushing mainly with your heels, lift your hips off the floor while keeping your back straight. Breathe out as you perform this part of the motion and hold at the top for a second.
- Slowly go back to the starting position as you breathe in.
- As you get stronger, you can add a weight to this exercise by holding a barbell/medicine ball/something heavy over your pelvis which will make it more difficult to lift your hips.
5. Butt building flutter kicks
- Lie facedown with legs straight, toes high off the floor and arms either out in front of you or resting next to year head.
- Squeeze your glutes and hamstrings and start the movement by lifting the left leg higher than the right leg.
- Then lower the left leg as you lift the right leg.
- Continue alternating in this manner (as though you are doing a freestyle kick in water) until you have done the recommended amount of repetitions for each leg. Make sure that you keep a controlled movement at all times.
Remember on Wednesdays we ALWAYS squat. Watch our video for 10 awesome squat variations.